R4 . COLOR . 96 mins .
E . PAL
Since their debut album Yourself or Someone Like You hit the charts in 1996, along with their smash single Push, Matchbox Twenty have gone on to become a band that regularly tops the charts and has established a huge following worldwide. There are a huge amount of music fans that can take them or leave them and this reviewer has to confess to previously being one of them, that was until seeing the superb Matchbox Twenty – VH1 Storytellers, which showed how talented this band really is. So, the release of a full concert was eagerly anticipated and as far as live concert releases go, this is one of the best yet.
The impressive stage set
Filmed in June 2003 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Show: A Night With Matchbox Twenty captures the band in full flight during their More Than You Think You Are Tour. Filmed in a high definition format using 17 cameras, nothing is missed in this awesome show. As well as the band sounding great, the lighting used is something to see, it really adds to the spectacle. This may be a band that could easily perform in a bar with nothing more than instruments and amplifiers, however put them in a packed stadium with a huge stage and spectacular lighting and they truly seem in their element.
Perhaps ironically there are 20 songs contained in this concert and most will be familiar to even those with just a passing interest in the band. The show begins at a pace that is quite consistent throughout, apart from a few ballads thrown in for good measure. The band is obviously at their peak here and they look and sound superb.
All I Need
Could I Be You
Hand Me Down
If You’re Gone
Back 2 Good
You’re So Real
So Sad So Lonely
Frontman Rob Thomas is the star of this band and apart from being the main songwriter, he has a great stage presence which makes this status justified. The other band members seem quite content to allow him to take all the attention, however these guys are not simply a backing band for Thomas, they are all accomplished musicians and they are all good friends, this is apparent from their interaction on stage and behind the scenes. There is a definite feel of equality in this band with no ego battles on display.
Great use of lighting
The editing is superb for this show with every possible angle being used to perfection. It is a vast stage with five main band members to focus on, along with capturing the whole effect of the stage lighting and the audience excitement and this feature captures it all in a well balanced way. Nowadays there are so many artists around that can produce great records and yet fail to replicate that sound on stage - Matchbox Twenty are thankfully not one of those. They are well aware that the sound is what it’s all about and they produce it with perfection. Great band, great spectacle, great sound, great show!
This anomorphically enhanced transfer is close to perfection. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, it really is a visual treat. Sharpness and detail are superb, with excellent delivery of colours. There is the occasional blurry shot, however this is intentional and although overused, it is not a fault of the transfer.
Pianos are not for standing on!
The usual nasties found on concert features such as aliasing and over saturation of colours are never a problem. There are no subtitles supplied, although the lyrics are available as an extra and the layer change is well placed between songs at 50:31.
Audio is available in a choice of Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1, both being of the highest quality. The surround mix is the track of choice with excellent clarity and a use of separation that really makes the viewer feel as if they are in the audience. Hiss, distortion, pops and dropouts are all absent in this fantastic audio mix. The only complaint would be the crowd noise, this can be a little overbearing at times and it seems like it is added on, which may not be the case, however this can be avoided to some degree by using the stereo mix, should it be an annoyance to you.
The second disc in this pack contains all the extras, and some nice ones there are too.
This feature contains 32 photos set out on two pages that can be enlarged by selecting. They are all candid shots and are of the highest quality.
This feature contains all the lyrics for the songs featured in the concert. Each song comes in a rolling text format.
This feature contains the songs Soul and Bright Lights and each is available with six different angles. This is a great feature for fans who wish to focus on a particular band member. Audio is only supplied in Dolby Digital Stereo though.
Running for 48:40 and with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, this documentary spends time with the band behind the scenes during their tour. It contains candid footage as well as interviews and is a terrific extra.
Details on the hidden Easter Egg can be found on our Easter Eggs page.
Overall this is a superb release for fans. The video and audio transfers are a treat and a second disc containins a good selection of quality extras, making this a release that is well worth purchasing. If you are only a passing fan of the band then it is still worth seeing as not many concert releases can match the quality on offer here, it really helps if you like the band though.